The Newbery Medal is given out each year by the American Library Association (ALA) for outstanding achievement in American children's literature (watch for our post announcing this year's winner later this month!). For over ninety years, it has been a significant authority on the reception and evolution of children's books. Its impact is well known. Winning books receive widespread attention in libraries, schools, and book stores, and the publisher is wont to emblazon the shiny medallion on the cover of every printed copy of the winning book. While the award itself receives ample public attention, the man for whom it is named remains relatively obscure.